Search DubaiPRNetwork.com

Home >> Government, Legal & Humanity

Planning for life and dealing with death – how legal tolerance in the UAE offers a more secure future By Sean Hird

Tuesday, July 10, 2018/ Editor -  

Share

Home >> Government, Legal & Humanity

DIFC Wills Service welcomes new visa rules reducing the vulnerability of women following death or divorce

Dubai, UAE, July 10, 2018:  Picture an important new construction taking shape in the UAE. 

Although carefully designed and crafted for the future, you can’t see it on the skyline. 

But it’s even more valuable than the tower blocks on Sheikh Zayed Road or in downtown Abu Dhabi. And in the past week, another key piece of that structure has been lowered into place.

This critical building block is the UAE’s announcement that widows and female divorcees will now be issued with a year-long visa, requiring no sponsor, on the completion of their divorce or the death of their husband.

For many of the country’s hundreds of thousands of female foreign residents who rely on their husband for a visa, this decision by the UAE Cabinet could prove to be a personal life-changer.

At the DIFC Wills Service Centre, we recognize this as another step in the construction of a forward-thinking and tolerant national legal system, designed to encourage and reassure those who want to make homes or build businesses here.

The decision gives women a year to sort out their financial and family affairs, without the pressure of having to leave the country and abandon, or manage from afar, the assets that they will need for a new life.

Whether caused by death or divorce, this will be a period of trauma and upheaval, and the new law offers much-needed breathing space to achieve a so-called “soft landing” in the next phase of their lives.

Of course, in the event of the partner’s death, the primary legal tool for transferring wealth is a Will. 

For those families or business owners who have a DIFC Will, the recent Cabinet decision is particularly good news. 

In most cases, we believe a year allows plenty of time to process the Will through the DIFC and Dubai Courts, so establishing probate. 

The executor, who has the job of implementing the requirements of the Will, can then press ahead with selling or transferring assets, allowing the widow to move on with her life.

It is only in the past few years that non-Muslims have had the chance to control the distribution of their lifetime wealth in this way. 

Family Law in the UAE is governed by Islamic sharia, which shares out assets among family members after death, according to a pre-determined formula. Until 2015, that applied to all residents, Muslim or non-Muslim.

But in that year the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry (now the DIFC Wills Service Centre) was founded, offering foreign non-Muslims the chance to choose who benefited from their estate – just as they would at home.

It was a first in the Middle East, and since then a thoughtful and broad-minded set of laws has increased security and certainty for investors and residents.

In 2015, a new agreement with the Dubai Land Department speeded up the exchange of information about the property assets of people holding DIFC Wills. 

Last year Dubai Law No 15 was passed, allowing the Dubai Courts to streamline procedures for processing DIFC Wills. Since then, nearly a dozen DIFC Wills have progressed through probate and the principle of co-operation between the two courts is well-established.

Now, this decision to offer visas to widows and divorcees has clarified the position of female residents, removing their extreme vulnerability in the event of a sudden change in their circumstances.

By offering widows the certainty that the courts will uphold their husband’s choices in a Will, and allowing time for it to happen, the Government has not just offered valuable support at a time of grief but also expanded its tolerant and business-friendly approach to developing new law. 

*Sean Hird is Director of the DIFC Wills Service Centre, a division of the Dubai International Finance Centre’s Dispute Resolution Authority.


Next in Government, Legal & Humanity


Home >> Government, Legal & Humanity Section

Latest Press Release

Ajman Media City Free Zone , the brand new investment hub of UAE, announces a st ...

DP World and EGA Sign Important Agreement to Support Aluminium Exports

Egypt leads race to win Cartoon Network's Toon Cup from among 70 countries world ...

Vegard Stake Laengen's Stage-by-Stage Guide to the Tour De France 2018: Week Two

Dubai health facilities rating system underway

Inspired by legends, worn by new heroes, PUMA FOOTBALL brings you the AC MILAN 2 ...

E-marine bags the prestigious MARS project to connect islands in East Africa

Travel Light with Beauty Essentials from Glambeaute.com

ICAEW: GCC businesses must comply with GDPR or risk hefty fines

Dubai Government Workshop successfully holds training workshop aimed at enhancin ...

Khalifa Fund signs MoU with the Crown Prince Foundation in Jordan to promote ent ...

Emirates receives IATA 753 compliance certification for baggage operations in it ...

DC Aviation Al-Futtaim expands managed aircraft fleet

New Xerox Workplace Solutions Boost Mobility, Print Management, Security and Cos ...

Tommy Hilfiger Dressed Up Collections

Ingenious inventions roll-in as the James Dyson Award deadline nears

Jaeger-Lecoultre Main Sponsor of the 75th International Film Festival of La Bie ...

DS Podium Chronograph - Sporty as ever, now with PrecidriveTM

Summer Love by Mouawad

Martin Survives a Brutal Day of Racing on the Cobbles of Stage Nine